The upcoming sixth entry in the Hitman series, simply titled Hitman, has been restructured and will be released in an episodic format, publisher Square Enix announced Thursday.
The news comes just a day after Sony cancelled all pre-orders for the PlayStation 4 version of the game made through the PlayStation Store because of changes to the game’s “Configuration.” Many retailers, including the PlayStation Store and Square Enix’ online store, changed or removed the game’s projected release date Thursday morning.
“We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience,” Io Interactive chief Hannes Seifert said in a prepared statement. “Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a Hitman game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future – this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”
The game will be released in six episodes, released monthly, Square Enix said. The first section of the game, set in Paris, will be released on March 11, the game’s previous official release date. Other locations include Italy, Morocco, Thailand, the U.S., and Japan. The game will be released in its entirety as a disc-based title “at the end of 2016.”
The game’s “Introduction Pack,” which includes the game’s prologue and opening Paris-based missions, will cost $15, and the subsequent chapters will cost $10 apiece. Players can also purchase “the full experience,” which guarantees access to all six chapters, plus bonus materials released between each one, as a single $60 package.
PlayStation 4 players will also get a mission from the console-exclusive “Sarajevo Six” contract arc with each episode.
Meanwhile, developer Io Interactive will go through the game’s planned beta tests on PS4 and PC next month. Players can access to PS4 beta, which starts February 12, or the PC beta, which starts February 19, by purchasing first chapter or the full game.